The AVMA in May selected Dr. Deborah Thomson for the 2019-20 AVMA Fellowship Program.
Beginning this August, Dr. Thomson will spend a year in Washington, D.C., as a full-time staff member for a congressional office or congressional committee. During their tenure, fellows advise policymakers on a wide range of issues including food safety, public health, animal welfare, research, and small-business policies.
In September, Dr. Thomson will interview with congressional offices and committees to receive her year-long placement. Fellows are not AVMA employees or lobbyists.
Dr. Thomson was selected from 13 applicants for the program following a three-phase, competitive selection process. The Fellowship Selection Committee was chaired by Dr. George Bishop, the District X representative on the AVMA Board of Directors, and also had former AVMA Fellow Dr. Matt Holland and Adrian Hochstadt, AVMA deputy chief executive officer.
Dr. Thomson of Albany, California, is a 2012 graduate of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, where she also received a certificate in international veterinary medicine. For the past year, she has worked as an associate veterinarian at a small animal hospital. Dr. Thomson has been a volunteer member of the California Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps and spent a summer in Thailand as a professor of mixed animal medicine.
The AVMA Fellowship Program is sponsored through the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which works to place qualified scientific experts in congressional offices where they are needed. The AVMA provides funding for the program. To date, more than 65 veterinarians have participated in the AVMA Fellowship Program.
Correction: An earlier version of this article gave the wrong time frame for Dr. Deborah Thomson's time in Thailand.